Fulton v. City of Philadelphia




City's refusal to contract with religious social services agency, when that agency refused to certify same-sex couples for foster placements, violated the Free Exercise Clause because the city had a structure for exemptions but declined to consider an exception for the agency; City failed to articulate a compelling reason to grant religious hardship. (Court expressly declined to overturn or substantially alter Employment Division v. Smith despite taking briefing on that.)


593 US ____ (141 S.Ct. 1868)




Religious Tradition Involved

State/Territory of Origin

Clause (Free Exercise / Establishment / Both / Other)

Does it involve religious institution(s) or individual(s)

Local / State / Federal Legislation

Dissent Author(s)

Uphold / Overturn Penultimate Court

Penultimate court of appeals

Penultimate court opinion citation

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, 922 F.3d 140 (3d Cir. 2019), cert. granted sub nom. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 140 S. Ct. 1104 (2020), and rev'd and remanded sub nom. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 141 S. Ct. 1868 (2021)